Consolidation Fees

As the economy sputters, more and more cardholders are looking to lower monthly payments by consolidating credit card balances. But watch out for a nasty little credit card fee that can wipe out your savings. Six of the top ten U.S. issuers now charge a balance transfer fee. The fee for transferring a $3,000 balance…

Wireless Burgers

Beam up a Big Mac. Chicago consumers are now able to use a wireless device linked to a credit card to purchase fast food. McDonald’s announced this week it will expand the pilot of ExxonMobil’s Speedpass contactless payment program to more than 400 outlets in the Chicago area. Last fall, McDonald’s launched a limited test…

Teen Mastercard

Move over VISA Buxx, here comes a prepaid, reloadable teen payment card from your largest competitor. This week the iGEN MasterCard is making its debut in about 100 Rite-Aid stores in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The new teen card is expected to be available at more than 3,700 Rite-Aid stores in 30 states by…

Card Stickers

Using credit cards can be a sticky situation if you are maxed out. Perhaps a few stickers on your credit cards can help. The San Diego-based Institute for Consumer Financial Education launched a new initiative this month to help consumers control credit card usage. The ICFE is offering Credit Card Warnings Labels. There are four…

Campus Cards

College cards are getting wired. The first full-scale application of Web-based campus card account management capability was launched last week by the University at Buffalo. Using UB Card Online Account Management, students have access to their Campus Cash (bookstore, vending, retail, etc.) and Dining Dollars (meal plan) accounts from any Internet-connected personal computer. They can…

Bankruptcy Surge

With unemployment rising and new bankruptcy laws on the horizon, it is little wonder that the number of bankruptcy filings during the first part of this year have soared. Between January 1 and March 31, the number of bankruptcies filed increased by 17.5% over the same period last year. The number of filings during the…

Code Blue

When American Express introduced its Blue smart card it was dubbed the “Evolving Card”. After nearly two years, the Blue card has hardly changed and does little more than a traditional magnetic stripe card. But this may change following a contest that challenged Java developers from around the world to create innovative, new smart card…

Bulletproof Privacy

If you are concerned about the privacy of your personal financial information, there is a legitimate way to beat the system. Just set up an “Asset Protection Corporation”, preferably in Nevada. Some wealthy consumers also transfer funds out of the country. An individual does not have to actually own a business or be actively operating…

Credit Squeeze

If want to switch to a new credit card, better do it soon! Banks are getting stingy. One-fifth of banks reported this month they had tightened standards on credit card loans over the past three months, compared with only 12% in January. In addition, 19% of the banks responding to a survey, say they have…

Card Tips

May has always been a hot month for credit card offers and even though we are in an economic downturn, the offers keep on comin. But now, more than ever, you need to look for credit cards that give you the best bang for the buck. Make sure you know the costs associated with the…